Four Penn Professors Honored With 2017 Guggenheim Fellowships

University of Pennsylvania professors Robert Aronowitz, Rita Copeland, Daniel J. Mindiola and Daniel K. Richter have been awarded 2017 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships.

They are among 173 scholars, artists and scientists selected from almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s 93rd annual competition. The fellows were chosen “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.”

All are in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences.

Aronowitz, a physician, is professor and chair of the Department of History and Sociology of Science. His Guggenheim project, “Medical efficacy in a highly intervened-in world,” will explore the history of how Americans have judged the safety and efficacy of medical interventions. He is especially interested in the ways that the increasing number and novel combinations of medical interventions have undermined the straightforward translation of insights from clinical and laboratory experiments to the care of individuals.

Copeland is the Sheli Z. and Burton X. Rosenberg Professor of the Humanities and a professor of classical studies, English and comparative literature.  She will use the Fellowship support to work on her book project, “Emotion and the History of Rhetoric in the Middle Ages.”  

Daniel J. Mindiola is a Presidential Professor in the Department of Chemistry. His project’s aim is to convert methane and ethane, the major components of natural gas and shale gas, into value-added materials using non-combustible methods that involve activating the carbon-hydrogen bond. His group is exploring catalytic methods to transform these natural resources into chemical reagents and take advantage of the carbon and hydrogen content found in these gases without releasing greenhouse gases.

Daniel K. Richter, the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History in the Department of History, will be using Guggenheim support for his project, “The Lords Proprietors: Land and Power in Seventeenth-century America.” It focuses on an often-overlooked period of American history, between the restoration of King Charles II to the English throne in 1660 and the end of the seventeenth century. England assumed rule over a huge chunk of North American landscape in this period, with colonies organized as the personal preserves of one or a few great men who often called themselves “lords proprietors.”

More information about the 2017 Fellows is available on the Guggenheim Foundation website.